Is there any word from the Lord? (Part 2)
Scripture reading for August 14th: Jeremiah 40-45
“Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” Jeremiah 42:1-3
These Jews were scared and feared the wrath of Babylon because their Babylonian appointed leader, Gedaliah, had been assassinated. They were thinking about fleeing to Egypt but decided to seek a word from the Lord. They approached Jeremiah and asked him to pray for them to “your God”. People often ask spiritual leaders for a word, but not necessarily so they can obey!
After this group promised Jeremiah to abide faithfully by God’s word, he agreed to seek Him. They said the right words and seemed so sincere. (Jeremiah 42:5-6) As Jeremiah prayed over their request, ten days passed before the answer came. He called the Jews together to hear the Lord’s directions. If they would stay in the land, God would plant them and build them up. He would protect them from the King of Babylon and show them great compassion. (Jeremiah 42:10-12) However, if they did not obey and chose to go down to Egypt, what they feared would overtake them and they would surely die by the sword, famine and plague! (Jeremiah 42:13-18) Just to help them out, Jeremiah emphasized the right choice, “Do not go to Egypt.” (Jeremiah 42:19)
However, their words and actions were not really sincere because their hearts were not right with the Lord. They had no fear of the Lord or His holy word. They accused the prophet of lying and chose to do their own thing! (Jeremiah 43:2-7) They gathered everyone and headed for Egypt! Why would a people who knew God’s word and the penalty for disobedience choose to disobey and die?
As you think about this story today, examine your own life and check out your heart. Are you seeking the Lord to hear His word and obey? Or are you just curious about how He thinks? Knowing truth means responsibility to act!